Pacemaker

Hi folks.

 I'm new here. I've just had my second pacemaker installed after 10 years on the first. My Pacemaker Tech downloaded the information some 4 weeks ago which showed I had 14 noise events on one of the leads. The surgeon who replaced my PM said to the tech "Did you look deeper at the download?". Apparently I had 2 thousand noise events which he did not pick up. The symptoms were when walking along I would black out....a terrible feeling. I would stop and hold onto anything nearby hopefully not to collapse. The interesting thing was that when I sat still or basically not move at all I never had any black outs. It was only when I moved that it happened. It turns out one of the leads had frayed and wasn't allowing the signal from my heart to get to the pacemaker to cut in when needed. It felt like I had died 2 thousand times. Can anyone relate to this experience? Thanks for taking the time to read my post. 

 


4 Comments

Intermittent lead fault

by Selwyn - 2023-04-28 12:18:14

What a terrible experience. I trust you can now look forward to some improved health.

The bending and flexing of leads must be very difficult to detect - perhaps? I have had increased impedance on a lead for ages .  Lead impedance, a measure of a measure of the total opposition to current flow, is measured as matter of routine in pacemaker checks. Hence, I am suprised your lead problem was not picked up sooner.  

I know I have a partial duff ventricular lead, as picked up by a change in impedance. 

I now have to have an increased voltage to overcome this problem, potentially causing battery drain. I could have had the lead replaced, however, I only need the ventricular lead occasionally ( When you need it, you need it, otherwise you are dead!). Hence, the decision to leave the lead in place. 

I used to like to check over the download myself when I visited the cardiology techs.  Now I have a bedside monitor and who knows what is being checked? I do have some anxiety over this. Having just spent 3 weeks in India, no one seems to notice that there is no information being delivered from my monitor over this time period. Have I been abandoned?! Perhaps someone in the know at this Club can offer some reassurance?

Dependent

by AgentX86 - 2023-04-28 14:59:18

Clearly you're pacemaker dependent. 😣 Did you alert them to these ssympoms? They're obviously very serious.  Syncope is life threatening. It's good that everything has been worked out now.

It seems to me that the problem isn't a sensing issue, rather a pacing problem on that lead (or both).  If it were just a sense problem, as you suggest, the pacemaker would have timed out at the set minimum rate and provided the signal.  If the signal is stopped the other way, it's stopped.  I higher voltage might save that lead, at least temporatily.

Scary stuff

by Lavender - 2023-04-28 18:41:40

I'm glad they fixed you. I'm surprised they didn't put you in the hospital for a pacemaker check the FIRST time you blacked out😵‍💫

Selwyn-call your pacemaker manufacturer and ask. Mine tells me that I can be away from my bedside monitor for a month before they get suspicious and see why they're getting nothing. I'm thinking because I have no events, the monitor isn't sending them anything anyway unless it's my six month at home pacemaker remote check. 
 

I see my cardiologist every six months for an inperson pacemaker check alternating with my home monitor so that I am checked by some way every three months. I'm 100% dependent on my CRT-P. 

Lavender

by piglet22 - 2023-04-29 06:53:28

Things are a bit different in the UK to the States.

I can only speak for my part of the UK, but talking to the manufacturer would not be an option and might even be frowned upon.

I did once have to call the Netherlands from UK (Medtronics) because the bedside monitor had gone on the blink after about one year's service. The end result of that was to get a replacement unit. No involvement or interest from the hospital, only advising me to dispose of the old unit.

I think you would find it frustrating here. I'm nearly 100% dependent but in person checkups routinely have disappeared in favour of the annual download.

They tell you very little at that.

I'm guessing a bit, but I suspect that bedside monitors don't provide the sort of information that a full check with the manufacturers instruments do. The PMs don't store enough information because of memory limitations. Certainly, the monitor does not report events like ectopics and to be perfectly honest, I don't have a  lot of confidence in it. Not helped by not a word from the hospital on usage, what it does, how are you getting on with it etc. All you get are the box instructions and the rest is a DIY exercise.

You know you're wired when...

You’re officially battery-operated.

Member Quotes

I have an ICD which is both a pacer/defib. I have no problems with mine and it has saved my life.